Here's a simple recipe for ginger beer, with no other flavour additives (I'm still experimenting with those). 


  • Fresh ginger root (I use one chunk, about the size of my palm)
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Yeast (½ teaspoon)
  • Water (2 litres)


  1. Clean your bottles. I use two plastic 1-litre bottles that were originally for sparkling water. You can really use whatever size you want, as long as they're plastic.
  2. Chop up the ginger in to small (half centimeter, or whatever you want) cubes
  3. Place in a pot with 2 litres of boiling water, and boil for 30 minutes
  4. While the water is boiling, mix some of your sugar with a cup of warm water, and sprinkle the yeast on top
  5. After 30 minutes, strain the ginger out of the water (I didn't strain the one in the picture) and let it sit until tepid
  6. Once the water is cool enough to not kill the yeast, add said yeasty water to the mix
  7. Carefully pour into your pop bottle(s) and cap them tightly
  8. Leave the bottles somewhere warmish in your house for 24 hours
  9. The bottles will become rock hard from the pressure inside (which is why you don't use glass bottles)
  10. After 24 hours, put them in the fridge
  11. After 2-5 days, slowly open, and drink!


  • Open the bottles very slowly if you don't want a mess
  • The amount of sugar can be varied. 1 cup will end up being roughly the  same amount of sugar that is in Coca-Cola, but it works with less
  • The amount of ginger can be varied too!
  • I usually make it on Wednesday or Thursday night, so it's ready for me to take to work and drink on Monday

We live in an age of striving for positive feedback from our peers, but also making it so easy for our peers to give positive feedback that the effect is diluted. One can show that they "Like" a Facebook post or "Favourite" a Tweet in just one tap. Instagram makes it even easier, and lets you double-tap an image to give it your love, so you don't have to take the time to find and tap the heart button.

It's always been popular to wish people a happy birthday on Facebook. In recent years, it's been made even easier, and you don't even have to go to the person's profile to do it. The number of wall posts with the text, "HBD", and other abbreviations like it, is amazing.

I used to be happy with a few physical birthday cards, but now, I need hundreds of wall posts to feel special. A month ago, as an experiment, I removed public mentions of my birthday from Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else I could think of, in preparation for my birthday.

I used to use Hootsuite for scheduling posts on Twitter and Facebook, but have recently switched over to Buffer. Here's why.

No-nonsense scheduling

Hootsuite gives you two options when it comes to scheduled posts: regular, pick-time-and-date scheduled posts, and "auto-scheduled" posts. Auto-scheduling works by you giving it the days, time windows, and how many posts per day, and it is supposed to pick the best times for those posts to happen. In my experience, it doesn't work. It seems like Hootsuite just sticks the post in between the two times given, and that's it.

Buffer's method is different. You supply the times upon which to post, and it just takes the next post from your upcoming queue on that time. It's a little less organic than Hootsuite's system is supposed to be, but in reality, it's simpler and better. I frequently change the times my posts go out, and the number of times in a day, just to keep things interesting.

Support for native Twitter photos

Hootsuite doesn't let you post photos to Twitter using Twitter's native functionality, but Buffer does. 'Nuff said. (Hootsuite posts them using their own image-hosting service.)

Better API support

I use IFTTT regularly for a variety of things regarding posting to Twitter. Hootsuite used to give API access to IFTTT, but no longer does. Buffer still allows you to add posts to your queue using IFTTT "recipes", so this makes my life a lot easier.

All that being said, Hootsuite is still a great client for consuming Twitter feeds, as Buffer is only for posting content. The only other downside to Buffer is that you can only have ten posts in your queue on their free plan. Not a big deal for the average Joe, but it does cause hiccups every once in a while.

Andy Maxwell:

This week an Irish man was handed a four-year sentence for running a pirate linking site. The Court accepted that he led no lavish lifestyle. In contrast, a man who stole almost £9m from a bank and bought homes worth £1.4m, three Bentleys, three Aston Martins, a Porsche 911 and a Rolls Royce, was also jailed. He received just 3.5 years. Fair?

As a child, I enjoyed reading the various stories of gold rush successes and failures. At some point, I realized that not every gold panner was guaranteed a success, and it was the secondary industries, like the people selling the supplies, that had better chances of profit and success, even if it wasn't the glamorous job.

As a web designer and developer, I am somewhat like that supply salesman. I'm making and selling a product that every successful business needs, but the product doesn't rely on their success for my success. Sure, it's nice if the gold panner finds some gold and needs to buy more supplies to keep going, it's not a requirement. My success relies on my product being good enough for the gold panners to come back when they need more, and hopefully tell their friends to pick me as well.

Just a thought for the day.

I was browsing the internet, and thinking to myself about how much I dislike having to make small talk, then stumbled across this.

Why Introverts Hate Small Talk (It's Not Because We Suck At It):

It’s not that we are anti-social, we don’t feel it necessary to start a conversation about the weather just to fill a conversation void. There are few things introverts appreciate more than someone who they can sit in comfortable silence with. We do enjoy engaging with and learning about other people, but sometimes after too much of it, we need some quiet time. 

"Advertising is the very essence of democracy." — Anton Chekhov

I came across that quote because of my least-favourite form of marketing: using Twitter to follow individuals, then unfollowing them, hoping that they followed you back. (It's pretty much the equivalent of a pump-and-dump scheme, but that's for another blog post.) Trying to find the source, I also came across a more recent author who said the same thing, but I was unable to find the original context.

Out of context, it's very hard to figure out what Chekhov was implying. Was this said in a positive light? Was it about how one of democracy's flaws is that public opinion is easily swayed by advertising? Is it saying advertising is bad? Or is it good?

​Four years ago today, I had brain surgery.

Leading up to Mother's Day, 2011, I had a couple small seizures, but no one noticed or witnessed them, so I didn't really realize what was happening. On Mother's Day, I was helping make brunch for my mom (of course), and had another seizure. This time, people noticed. I went on to have all sorts of tests to see what was triggering them.

Once, in round-table discussion with several people from various walks of life, we were discussing some large problem with society. (I don't remember which, but it's not important.) Knowing that, in that circle of friends, I tend to not have very popular views, I was quiet and just observed the discussion. After each person had shared their points of view, which were all similar and did not have a good chance of success, I was asked what my opinion was. I said, "Maybe what we need is some sort of end-of-world scenario, like a full-scale local war, major natural disaster, or some type of apocalyptic event. Then society could rebuild itself, learn from the mistakes of the past, and prevent them from happening."

…that's not in person, is email. Here's why:

  1. Distributed
    Email isn't based on a central system. If Facebook was to go down, or get hacked, no one using Facebook's messages as their main way to communicate could talk. Sure, Microsoft and Google (combined) run more than half of the active individual accounts (citation needed), but they don't have to be functional for one person to send a message to another.